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November 07, 2012


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You write "Politics has become a business model of taking money from those that do not support you and redistributing it to those that do," but I would like to hear more about why you say that.

I see politics/government as a way to work together to implement the natural monopolies that help us all. We all benefit from that. We also provide a safety net, which we all benefit from, at least in the sense of "there but by the grace of god go I." Sure, those of us who can better afford it end up paying a larger share for these benefits, but I consider this a reasonable approach. In what way do you find this to be "taking" and "redistributing"?

Oh sure, there are politicians who unjustly reward their cronies, but I would say that this is a relatively small piece of the action.

Scott Perlman

I am not talking about the micro, about “politicians that reward their cronies.” I am focusing on the macro, the much larger problem of each “side” rewarding their own on a huge scale.

Republicans sign anti-tax oaths with oafs like Grove Norquist while keeping the level of defense spending, or more specifically the level of increase in defense spending sacred and untouchable.

Democrats increasingly exhibit profound economic ignorance as it applies to cause and effect of GNP growth while continuing to spend more on health care and subsidies without any consideration this is nothing more complex than an economic pyramid scheme and we are running out of marks.

We are spending more than we are taking in and the level and rate of that deficit spending is unsustainable. There are economists out there that disagree with me, Krugman being the most noted. I strongly disagree with him if for no other reason than eventually the bond market will stop our check writing. But there is enough material here for several blogs if not a book so I will save that for another time.

While there is rampant waste throughout our government and how we spend our money, there are really only three areas that we need to focus on; defense, social security, and Medicare/Medicaid. The abuse of earmarks is frustrating and the proverbial DOD purchase of a $500 hammer is aggravating. But these are the deficit equivalent of spitting in the ocean.

So the Democrats run on keeping the entitlements sacrosanct with no regard to affordability and no outlook longer than then next election cycle. The Republicans motivate their supporters by refusing to consider tax increases and promoting a military industrial complex that spends more than 14 of the next largest defense spending countries….combined! (http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/12/defence-spending)

This is what I am referring to when I say they are taking money from those that do not support them and giving it to those that do.
I also want to help the helpless. I believe a certain amount of wealth redistribution to accomplish that is appropriate. What we have here is not that, it is a government that has exceeded our capability of funding it. And the bottom line is that if we do not take action very soon, our ability to help the helpless along with ourselves will be in jeopardy.

I refer you to a blog entry I made back in 2011 regarding the Simpson-Bowles Plan for more details of what we need to do.



I think both Republicans and Democrats genuinely think they are doing what is best for the country. The Democrats believe that as we get to be a wealthier and wealthier nation we can and should help those that are less fortunate than others. The Republicans fear that our current spending level will cause inflation and want to head that off; they also believe that the best way to deal with international conflicts is a strong military. Sure, e.g., the Cheney-Halliburton connection is a little to close for my tastes but, for the most part, I don't think it is patronage, or rewarding one's voters, but genuine desire to better the country.

As to the US debt issue, I beg to differ. Much more important than how much is being spent, is what it is being spent on. On the household scale: if I take out a loan for more than my annual income income to buy shoes, that's foolish; but the same size loan to buy a reasonably-sized house is often smart finances. On the national level, are we using the money to build infrastructure? Are we using the money to prop up good businesses that are nonetheless suffering because of the business cycle / mortgage-security fiasco? I think these are sound investments and deficit spending is warranted. When things have recovered more, perhaps in 2013 if we are lucky, then we should cut back, and ultimately get back to the surpluses that Clinton was the last to deliver.

The only places (among modern economies) where the bond market is balking are in a few of the euro currency countries, because there has been relatively little quantitative easing of the euro relative to the dollar, yen, yuan, pound, krona, etc. To avert economic calamity, the solution is not spending cuts during a recession; rather, we need quantitative easing of the euro.

Second only to fending off the deficit hawks just a little longer, the euro situation is the critical issue. To borrow your words, "the bottom line is that if we do not take action very soon, our ability to help the helpless along with ourselves will be in jeopardy."

Mister Jeremy

Well hello there! It was such a great pleasure to visit this blog and in particularly to read this blog entry. And I got a question for you. How do you feel about guest blogging?

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